Friday, March 24, 2006

Datingmonkey's Internet Dating Advice

Worried about how to write your profile? Anxious about showing your best side in your photograph? Not sure what to do when someone attaches a picture of their cock to an email? Want to know if she thinks her cats are babies?

Worry no more. For I, Datingmonkey, am here to answer all your internet dating questions, big or small. Send them in. Replies guaranteed.

Dear Datingmonkey
I've been emailing someone who sounds really nice. We've got a lot in common (we both like snuggling up on the sofa with a DVD and a bottle of red wine), and he, like me, is a real glass half full person who also lives life to the full.
The thing is yesterday he sent me an email with a picture of his 'erect penis' attached. What should I do?
Concerned of High Wycombe

Dear Concerned
I am afraid I couldn't possibly comment until I've seen the pic. Could you send it in?
Thanks -
DM x

Hey there, Datingmonkey!
Wassup? I like dwarves. Can I find love online?
Jason K, East Grinstead

Wassup Jason!

Dear Datingmonkey
I literally can't fucking understand why all the women I write to online ignore me. It's quite fucking obvious that I'm good looking - and what MORE evidence do these women need that I'm successful other than my '£250,000+' wage bracket and Porsche? I've lived abroad for some years and have a house in Provence for weekends away. Either they're all blind, or society's gone mad.
What am I doing wrong?
Miles, Knightsbridge

Dear Miles
Thanks for your letter. Sorry to hear you're finding the search for that special someone so challenging.
What are you doing wrong? You're a twat.
Hope that helps.

Dear Datingmonkey,
Do you have a problem with excessive body hair? And is that why you are called Datingmonkey and do a lot of online dating?
JL, Hampstead

Dear JL
Thank you for your enquiry. The answer is that after many years of trying, I have - more or less - got my excess body hair problems under control. I am called Datingmonkey because I am, and I am doing online dating because I can.
All good wishes,

Dear Datingmonkey
I have been reading your blog and you sound like that fucking woman who went on and on about poetry and 'forgot her purse'. Is that you?
Mark, Brighton

Dear Mark
Good to hear from you after all this time. Can I have my keys back?

Dear Dating Monkey,
Greetings from IT Support!! I'm Marc (with a C mind!) from sunny Surrey earning an honest crust fixing peoples' computers - I can't say where but let's just say I can see Canary blummin Wharf from my window!! I have been single for some time and need your advice - basically my job and my hobbies (anything Star Trek/Wars and Robot Making/Wars related) seems to put the laydees off - that and perhaps my acne. Any advice for 'spicing' up my profile? Pic or no pic?
Yours hopefully!!!!
MarC Apsall

Dear MarC
First of all, may I congratulate you on your name. It suggests continental mystery, and a certain facility with a bottle opener - a good start in anyone's books. Second of all, some basic advice: go to the doctor, or buy some Clearasil.

I can see that your interests might seem that you are - how can I put this? - a little 'unusual'. I can also imagine how difficult it must be to meet ladies: during the day, they see you merely as 'IT" (a tip here: do introduce yourself before you get on your knees under their desk to plug their computer back in); at night and in your other 'free time', you are probably mixing with other men a little like you, and perhaps some ladies that are indistinguishable from the gentlemen.

However, the great joy of the online is that it can access - as you will know only too well - millions and millions of ladies. There is no doubt in my mind that there is someone out there who you can cuddle up to on the sofa with over a game of Star Wars Top Trumps.

My simple tip, dear MarC, is to be honest in your profile. Explain your interests. Put them out there for the world to see. Be yourself. And yes - always a photograph. Of your newly blemish-free, smiling face turning towards the world, ready to meet the woman of your dreams - perhaps brandishing a Light Sabre for that added spice?

In the meantime, I have done a little research for you. Unfortunately the link I found is enormous and seems to do something awful to my formatting, but if you type 'Star Wars Dating Advice' into Google, you will find a link to a super little page that uses Chewbacca and his friends as the basis for what I can only describe as very sound dating advice. I would also suggest Match.Com (much to my distress), which seems the site most likely to provide you with the woman of your dreams.

Good luck, and do let me know how you get on.

May the force be with you!


Dear Datingmonkey
I've put a photo of myself on Guardiansoulmates that was taken about five years ago. I've put on quite a lot of weight since then. I don't look that bad but I think that it might optimistic to describe myself as 'average'. 'Porky' is more accurate, I think, but I can't choose that option, and 'a few extra pounds' suggests that if I don't wash every day, I might get bad smells caught in folds. What should I do?
Look forward to hearing from you.
Jackie, Braintree

Dear Jackie
Thanks for your question. It's a difficult one. I have not been blessed with the best of figures but am, as the years pass, becoming accustomed to it knowing, as I do, that if I cared that much, I'd be thinner. Anyway, here's the thing. There's no point in lying about the way you look because you may meet them and unless they are blind, or wearing a very big hat in the dark, they are going to see exactly what you look like. You could either stop doing internet dating until you're OK with a photo of yourself taken in the last 3 months, or you could just be honest about it and maybe describe yourself a bit more in your profile. For example if you are tubby round the middle, but have lovely legs, you could say that. Also don't forget that not all men like slim ladies (although most do). Don't get cross about it, be honest, and you'll be surprised at what happens. And best of all there are some men (more than you would think) who either don't care, or quite like it. The most handsome man I have ever met in my life liked me although I am quite the porker. So, be honest, or join Weight Watchers. That's my advice.
Good luck!

Dear Datingmonkey
I am 26, blonde, size 8 and quite bright. I've been doing online dating for a week now and every day I receive anything up to 30 emails. 4,321 people have marked me as their 'favourite'. I don't really know what to do. I really do feel that I should reply to them all and say 'thanks but no thanks' as honestly lots of them sound really sweet, but I just don't think we'd have much in common.
Thanks very much.
Josie, Fulham

Dear Josie
My advice? Stop your whining, and get stuck in.
Cheers -

Dear Datingmonkey
I am in the autumn of my life and would like to share what little I have with a lovely lady. I'm not asking for much, just some kindness, patience and good company. I keep a nice house and go on a foreign holiday twice a year, that I would like to share with a special person. Other things the lady might like to know is that I belong to the local Rotary club and enjoy having a pint with my friends on Friday night. I am 64. Do you think it's too late to find love?
Yours sincerely
Jeff, Cheltenham
PS I am quite au fait with the internet since I did a course at the Adult Education Centre, so I am happy to try out internet dating!

Dear Jeff
What a lovely letter to receive. The first thing to say is that I think we are all looking for 'kindness, patience and some good company', and there is no reason why your age should get in the way. I am sure that you will find lots of lovely women who would love to meet you, so my advice is that you try or, and see what happens. Give it some time though and make sure you feel really comfortable before you meet. I am sure your instincts are good but I have read recently of a certain lady in the Cheltenham area who is, from what I have gleaned, a little opportunistic. So as I say trust your own obvious good sense, and don't open a joint bank account until you've been married a couple of years.
Good luck Jeff!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What The Papers and Books Say About Dating On The Line

Judging by what goes on in the media and in bookshops and that, you'd think it was still 2001. You know, like it's not that normal to do online dating. I heard a weird stat the other day - something like 1 in 6 adults have tried online dating. Can't be that bloody weird then, can it. So can someone tell me why all journalistic and literary stuff about online dating seems to assume that it's a new phenomenon that you need to have explained to you like you're a halfwit? Examples include:

1. Breathless twenty-something female journo writes truly appalling diary on her online dating adventures in ladymag. Invariably, she is inundated with dates, and has a couple of boring ones, about which she writes with no particular energy, and then, like, has another couple and then stops writing about online dating and starts writing about speed dating. Reason lady has no boyfriend is because she is simply Not That Interesting. I mean if you can't write an interesting piece about online dating, you might as well kill yourself. Lady journalism is usually about how they are surprised at foxiness of men, how they are all normal, how they write well, and how exciting it is to get emails in your inbox and find you are in 30 peoples' 'favourites' list. (No shit!). They also then comment on how pleasant many of their online dates are, and sometimes they have a relationship. Their conclusion is that it is really good fun and worth a go, if they have a generally good experience; if their twattiness is evidenced by their failure to connect with anyone interesting, they describe it as a thing for geeks.

2. Over-excitable male journo in early 30s falls in love via email with mysterious woman. Finds out she is Russian person (not necessarily originally a lady) looking for husband OR finds out she is normal, meets her, and goes out with her. The other option, depending on the sophistication of the magazine for which he writes, is that he comments on the enbonpoint of the laydeez on the line and raises awareness of online dating as a place to get an endless stream of one night stands without making any effort. Whether he has the wherewithal to actually have a one night stand is a moot point.

3. American guides to online dating. Books and on the line. How something that is so much fun, and so entertaining, can become the subject of books so dreary and uninformative is beyond me. You know, "How To Write A Profile And Win!"; LITERAL AND ACTUAL emails you can copy and sort of customise a bit in case you can't think of one yourself; how to take a photograph of yourself; how to approach a woman. Is completely insane and the thought of anyone taking these guides seriously makes me weep with gratitude for being English. These are the literary equivalent of self-help books written by the sort of people who run seminars in hotels in St James's for the terminally confused, for which the terminally confused pay hundreds of pounds.

4. 'The Rules for Online Dating'. You know those evil witch-faced harpies who wrote 'The Rules'? Them. They wrote it. As far as I know 'The Rules' was written for the single New York lady. In summary, the idea is that ladies have to pretend to be soft, feminine, and always busy and unavailable in order to get millionaires begging for a piece of them. You know, you can't return calls within 24 hours, and you have to pretend to be busy every other time he asks you out (whilst you are in fact sitting at home memorising the Rules). This book encourages women to behave like calculating, disingenuous, insincere vixens, whilst pretending to be wide eyed, fluttery, and innocent. The Rules for Online Dating are kind of the same - you know, appear casually interested in emails; don't log on every day; don't reply to emails immediately. Why the fuck not? THAT'S PART OF THE FUN. Plus it implies that at the back of your head is the idea that you are going to Search For A Man (I'm suddenly reminded of that (American) woman who wrote that book on how to find a husband - she recommended that you put aside 30% of your income for manhunting) in a really calculating way. And if you do that, you lose all the magic of it; the idea of chance; the sheer enjoyment of exchanging emails with someone funny and interesting; the whole idea that, well, you might meet someone amazing. Anyone who takes these kind of things sincerely deserves to end up in a cul-de-sac outside Slough with a husband who's a cost controller at Asda Head Office, grateful for the fact that she's married but otherwise regretting every single second of her desperate existence. See? That's what happens if you take witch-faced New Yorkers seriously. (Like Dr Atkins, who I think died fatly and of a massive heart attack, I suspect both these women are now divorced, simply because they are rubbish and you can't make a relationship out of pretending to be someone else.)

5. Chick-lit books about it. Oh just FUCK OFF. If anyone thinks this is the new epistolary novel, they've got another think coming. Badly written tat in a pink cover sold for £4.99 in Tesco is badly-written tat in a pink cover, however you look at it. Online dating just provides another source of plot lines strung together by words of no more than 3 syllables, consumed with passion by people who can barely write. Yes, it does piss me off. Had you noticed? I'm partly pissed off because I didn't write that novel myself about 4 years ago, but better.

6. Stuff like this:

You are about to learn secrets that will cause women to leap off your screen and fall into your arms as effortlessly as leaves falling from trees.

Inside you'll learn...

The single best place on the planet to meet women (and how to get the hottest women there to actually seduce YOU).

The biggest mistake men make that will instantly turn her off before she ever talks to you (and you may not even know you're making it).

How to get her to think of you not as a perv trying to get into her pants, but as someone she likes and trusts and wants to meet.

The one item you must have to ensure success with women. (It's more important than toothpaste and flowers.)

No, I'm not giving you the URL. I don't want to give him the traffic.